Our scripture this morning is John 10:14-18.
“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd. The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.”
Jesus used the example of the shepherd and flock many times as an explanation of His love for us and the believers’ relationship with Him. He also mentions “other sheep”, those who have not yet heard the word but will come to be part of the flock. He tells us “They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd” (v. 16), a comforting promise that He will lead and protect all who follow Him in faith.
Comparing us to sheep is not very flattering, but a sadly true description. Sheep are not very bright, usually concerned only with themselves, and scatter when danger threatens. Jesus says if we come to Him as individuals, we can be part of His flock, under His protection. We know from scripture and experience we can’t save ourselves; we desperately need the Good Shepherd.
Jesus faced death for us because He chose to obey God. He tells us “No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily” (v. 18). He came to save us, declaring us worthy of dying for. We must declare Him worthy of living for, and go as He has told us to bring in the rest of the flock.
Gracious God, we are humbled that You love so much. Help us to live as members of the flock under our one true shepherd, Jesus Christ. Amen.